Both sides of Tim Presley’s mind, one being White Fence and the other himself as a solo artist, marry together, bringing us I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk, one of his strongest records yet. The result is an entirely new pathway for the songwriter, bringing together both of his projects where, “Tim Presley meets White Fence and together they move on”. The record was born from the home of Cate Le Bon, where Presley was staying at the time of writing, leaving a familiar level of eccentricity rubbing off on the record.
The environment the album was written in plays a huge hand in how the record sounds. Written in the Lake District, which Presley described as having, “The most beautiful serene British landscapes”, you can feel the weather and the landscapes on the record. It’s clear having removed himself from San Francisco, he has created a much calmer and tranquil record. The keyboard tones of the title track, ‘I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk’, are enough to remind you of the airy and damp countryside. Almost as though being removed from the chaos of cities allowed Presley to dig deep with ease and get hit with inspiration. It’s the album Frank & The Soronprfbs should have written.
Both in structure and in tone the record recalls the A. Savage album Thawing Dawn from last year, another album heavily inspired by Le Bon. There’s a British sensibility in the album, it sounds like window gazing and drafty English mornings. Whilst Presley may be more known for his garage-psychedelic collaborations with Ty Segall, I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk is far removed from what you thought you previously knew about Presley. It isn’t a complete overhaul, his unpredictability is still intact, however, it’s clear the union of both Tim Presley and White Fence is a new flag in the ground entirely.
The removal from his usual life in San Francisco has led to Presley writing some of his most beautiful and wistful songs yet. ‘I Can Dream of You’ is a touching highlight along with the reflective ‘Indisposed’. The record is a bag full of different inspirations and influences, and there’s a more vulnerable side to the album which is countered with The Fall-tinged songs such as ‘Until You Walk’ and the fun and dark ‘Neighbourhood Light’, a song which evokes classic Lou Reed. There are moments it almost goes full Yoko Ono.
Whilst musically there are many similarities between I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk and Presley’s first solo effort (2016’s The Wink), the songs on Larry’s Hawk are less scattered, more focussed and cleaner. The record sounds more relaxed and relies less on dissonance. There are elements of his previous records throughout. The way the guitars strike with the piano could easily be a heavy fuzz record and it shares the same other-worldliness and quirks that you’d associate with a psychedelic album. However, it hits these tones without venturing near that territory. It’s clear that there’s still a huge influence at play but it never fully crosses over into the album.
I Have To Feed Larry’s Hawk feels like a significant moment in Tim Presley’s canon. It’s a pocket of strange and original songwriting that relishes in being experimental but doesn’t indulge in it. Whilst touches of the record can be heard as melancholic, it’s never something that engulfs the record and certainly isn’t its overall mood. It’s an album that sounds like an impeccably tidy scrapbook from an artist brimming with inspiration and ideas. Overall a wonderful listen.